Labour MP Craig’s of­fice open for busi­ness in city

The Southland Times - - NEWS - AN­DREW MAR­SHALL

Decked out with red rib­bon and bal­loons, Labour list MP Liz Craig has opened the doors to her lo­cal of­fice.

In­ver­cargill deputy mayor Re­becca Amund­sen was on hand to cut the rib­bon and of­fi­cially open the of­fice yes­ter­day, on be­half of the city coun­cil.

Kauma¯tua Herewini Neho then led the of­fi­cial del­e­ga­tion through the of­fices, bless­ing each room.

Craig said she hoped the of­fice would be a place where she could work with the com­mu­nity ‘‘for the bet­ter­ment of South­land’’.

Work­ing as a pub­lic health doc­tor, and see­ing first hand the health ef­fects of chil­dren liv­ing in poverty, had in­spired her to en­ter pol­i­tics.

She had joined Labour in 2010, and helped to write its chil­dren’s pol­icy at that time.

‘‘We shep­herded [the pol­icy] through the 2011 elec­tion, the 2014 elec­tion and then to see it ac­tu­ally be­com­ing law ... so for me it’s been re­ally amaz­ing be­ing a part of that po­lit­i­cal process.’’

Craig said it wa s good to have a per­ma­nent lo­cal base of op­er­a­tions to work out of.

‘‘It’s good to have a base where peo­ple can come in and con­nect and catch up with the staff.’’

She said she would pri­ori­tise be­ing avail­able at her of­fice out­side of par­lia­ment’s sit­ting days.

Amund­sen said In­ver­cargill was lucky to have lo­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tion from across the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum. ‘‘Given that we’ve got a Labour gov­ern­ment at the mo­ment, it’s re­ally im­por­tant to have a Labour pres­ence in the city.’’

The coun­cil fully in­tended to draw on as much gov­ern­ment fund­ing as pos­si­ble for the ‘‘raft of projects in our long term plan,’’ she said.

KAVINDA HERATH/STUFF

In­ver­cargill deputy mayor Re­becca Amund­sen cuts the rib­bon as kauma¯tua Herewini Neho and Labour list MP Liz Craig wait to en­ter Craig’s new In­ver­cargill of­fices.

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